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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Weaning Julian

We started weaning Julian shortly after Chinese New Year. Our objective was to get him to dislike the breast so he would stay away naturally and not be traumatised.

On a nurse's advice, our first attempt was using ginger. REGRET!!!!! We decided on this because the medium was natural. Initially we cut ginger slices and rubbed the breast with it. When that didn't work, we pounded the ginger to get the juice and applied it. We didn't realise how pungent it was and Julian wasn't one to give up so easily. So, even though it was pungent he still went for it until his lips were all red and smarting and he was crying in pain... Mummy & Daddy are sorry to make you suffer like that, Julian... :-(

Next, we tried bitter gourd. This worked quite well, because it put him off without hurting him. The problem was that the effect did not last long and it was quite a hassle to pound the bitter gourd for the juice. So after a while, Julian would happily get the bitterless breast again!

Finally, we bought bojela (having read of its effectiveness). At first it worked. But then Julian seemed to develop a liking for it (we think maybe there's a sweet after taste) and was getting a little bit addicted. He would ask for the bonjela to be applied!

Since we started using the bitter gourd juice, he thought it was fun to have something applied on the breast, before he took it. So when he wants the breast he would indicate that we should apply something on it! (*Mummy & Daddy shake head*)

Finally we just gave him his pacifier and talked to him. The initial falling asleep wasn't too much of a problem. It was the night pacifying that was challenging. When he woke up in the wee hours of the morning wanting to pacify, we gave him the pacifier. For a few nights, he violently objected and mummy felt compelled to give in. Eventually, we asked him to compromise - take the pacifier and mummy would hold him close. He seemed agreeable to this and so we reached a truce :-) Now he doesn't need mummy to hold him close anymore, although he still looks for the pacifier when he stirs in the night.

He still asks for the breast occasionally, but doesn't fuss too much when not given. Mummy thinks he's not fully gotten over being weaned. Given half the chance, he would jump right back into breastfeeding!

Nights Without Mummy & Daddy

We were on the presenting team for the EE Weekend from 20-22 Feb 2009. Arrangements for Julian's care was a little different this time. Previously we would take him with us for the weekend but this time it was decided that we would not.

In view of this (and because he's never spent a night without mummy), we first carried out a 'trial-run' on 7 Feb. Papa & Mummy came and stayed the night at our place. We left him in their care in the afternoon and stayed out until he fell asleep that night. We crept back in and slept in the guest room. He got up and cried at about 4am but eventually fell back asleep, without us having to come out of hiding.

For the EE Weekend, he stayed over at Niq & Chui Ying's place. Mum came up to take care of him. Apparently he did stir a little in the night, but he didn't have problems getting back to sleep.

Julian enjoyed his weekend holiday playing with cousin Gabriel, Grandma, Sok Meh & Sok Sok.

Thank you all for your help!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Julian's Obsessions

We find that Julian can be a little obsessed with some things.
  • When something drops on the floor (for example food), he must have it picked up.
  • When given a drink in a glass/cup with a straw, he insists on 'stirring' the drink with the straw by moving it up and down.
  • After he has drunk from the straw, he would want to finish up the last bit of drink from the cup (bottoms up!).
  • When we make his milk, he wants to knock on the cover of the tin where his milk is stored.
  • When he's finished drinking his milk (the milk may or may not be finished), he wants to close the bottle.
  • Whenever he sees steps, he must sit there, even if it's just for a moment.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Julian at 20 months

Julian can now:
  • run (and put his hands behind his back at the same time). He's definitely more steady on his feet.
  • blow his nose
  • imitate a sneeze
  • climb grilles and ladders. Very dangerous...!
  • put on the DVD. He knows the button to open and close the DVD tray, and he can put the DVD in correctly. (But his DVD watching is still being controlled!)
  • say: mama/ma (mummy - finally!), ma (grandma), pa (grandpa), poh poh, ai (hokkien for yes/want), no (he's been saying this for sometime but I think we forgot to note it earlier), hello, bye-bye (this is currently his favourite/most used phrase), die, nai (nice), smai (smile), bok (board), boak (boat), bot (robot), ight (light), beh (strawberry), or (horse). His vocab is certainly increasing but he hasn't quite progressed to sentence level yet.
  • gesture like a duck (hands to armpit and flap folded arms) and say "ak, ak". He would do this spontaneously or when asked "How does a duck sound?"
  • communicate quite well using gestures. Example: He indicates that he wants to eat something by pointing to the item and then to his open mouth as if to say "put that in here". Very cute :-)
Other than that, Julian is learning to jump. He hasn't quite got it yet but I'm sure it won't be too long before he's jumping like a kangaroo... :-)

Every now and then he also likes to turn round and round.

[Julian's pregnant pose: Mummy will look like this in a couple of weeks :o)]

[Why did Julian climb the ladder? Because it was there...]

[Stuntman Julian on his horse]

[Starting young on chinese delicacies... no mean "feet"]

[I said "smai"!]

Ox-picious Niu Year

This year we were in Menglembu for our reunion dinner. It was quieter than previous years and we actually didn't visit any relatives, although some relatives came to the house.

Our little outings included breakfast at the nearby coffee shops, a trip to Tesco, a short drive to an open area for Julian to play and see monkeys, and a trip to the fun fair.

It was Julian's first fun fair and he had a good time. He had three rides:
  • the train with Gabriel and Chui Ying Sok Meh
  • the ferries wheel with Gabriel and Daddy
  • the rocket with Gabriel.
We were quite worried for him here because of his fear of the rides at shopping malls. But he was very relaxed and even waved at us. Cousin Gabriel was a really good Kor-kor, holding Julian's hand throughout the ride. I think that helped a lot :-)

[Fun at the fair (Photo courtesy of Niq)]

The second day of Chinese New Year saw us back in Butterworth. Here, Julian enjoyed playing with and feeding the chickens. The whiteboard was also a favourite.

[Okay... let's prove this again]

[Chat with the chicken]

[This job is chicken feed-lah!]

Aileen was back on the third day of Chinese New Year and it was good to have the whole family together. It's been quite a while since we gathered because of differing holiday schedules. Antonia was back a few days before the festivities.